10 May Tribune Media Company Reports First Quarter 2016 Results
May 10, 2016 — Tribune Media Company (the “Company”) (NYSE: TRCO) today reported its results for the three months ended March 31, 2016.
FIRST QUARTER 2016 HIGHLIGHTS (compared to first quarter 2015 unless noted)
- Consolidated operating revenues increased 10% to $520.5 million
- Core advertising revenues increased 2.2% to $291.8 million
- Net political advertising revenues of $15.3 million increased 169% compared to pro forma first quarter 2012
- Retransmission consent revenue increased 21% to $83.5 million
- Carriage fee revenue increased 44% to $31.0 million
- WGN America primetime ratings increased 51%, driven by the success of our two original programs, Outsiders and Underground, which premiered in the first quarter
- Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA decreased 18%, primarily due to higher programming and promotion expenses related to premiering the two original programs mentioned above
- Company reaffirms 2016 full year financial guidance
“We had yet another quarter of strong top-line growth,” said Peter Liguori, Tribune Media’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our broadcast business posted solid results, highlighted by continued growth in core advertising, retransmission consent and carriage fee revenues, as well as very strong spending on political advertising. At our cable network, WGN America, the undeniable success of this quarter’s two new original series, Outsiders and Underground, demonstrates that our plan to reinvent the network is working better than we could have imagined. We are pleased with our first quarter results and as our reaffirmed full year guidance indicates, we expect significant Adjusted EBITDA growth for the remainder of 2016.”
FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
Consolidated operating revenues for the first quarter of 2016 were $520.5 million compared to $472.7 million in the first quarter of 2015, representing an increase of $47.8 million, or 10%. The increase was driven by higher advertising, retransmission consent and carriage fee revenues as well as an increase in Digital and Data revenues.
Consolidated operating profit was $27.2 million for the first quarter of 2016 compared to $60.9 million in the first quarter of 2015, representing a decline of $33.7 million, or 55%. The decline was primarily attributable to higher programming and promotion expenses as a result of premiering two original series on WGN America in the quarter whereas no original series premiered in the first quarter of 2015, higher network affiliate fees, impairment charges for certain real estate properties and higher expenses from Digital and Data acquisitions in the second quarter of 2015. These factors were partially offset by higher revenues discussed above.
Diluted earnings per common share for the first quarter of 2016 was $0.12 compared to $0.37 for the first quarter of 2015. Adjusted diluted earnings per share (“Adjusted EPS”) for the first quarter of 2016 was $0.18 compared to $0.40 for the first quarter of 2015. Both diluted and Adjusted EPS in the first quarter of 2016 include a $3.8 million, or $0.04 per share, charge related to the write-off of unrealized deferred tax assets related to stock-based compensation included in income tax expense. There was not a similar adjustment recorded in the first quarter of 2015.
Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA decreased to $105.8 million in the first quarter of 2016 from $129.0 million in the first quarter of 2015, representing a decrease of $23.2 million, or 18%. The decline was primarily attributable to an increase in programming and promotion expenses, partially offset by higher advertising, retransmission consent and carriage fee revenues.
Cash distributions from equity investments in the first quarter of 2016 were $89.3 million compared to $94.9 million in the first quarter of 2015.
Television and Entertainment
Revenues were $454.7 million in the first quarter of 2016 compared to $410.3 million in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of $44.4 million, or 11%. The increase was driven by higher net political advertising revenue of $13.3 million, an increase in retransmission consent revenue of $14.7 million, or 21%, an increase in carriage fee revenue of $9.5 million, or 44%, and an increase in core advertising revenues of $6.4 million, or 2.2%.
Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2016 was $116.0 million compared to $135.0 million in the first quarter of 2015.
Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was impacted largely by a planned increase of $25 million in programming expenses and $16 million of promotion expenses, primarily associated with premiering the original series Outsiders and Underground on WGN America.
Digital and Data
Revenues in the first quarter of 2016 were $53.3 million compared to $50.2 million in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of $3.1 million, or 6.1%. The increase was primarily due to the favorable impact of the acquisitions of Infostrada Sports, SportsDirect, Covers and Enswers, all of which were consummated in the second quarter of 2015, and higher video revenues at the legacy business, partially offset by lower music revenues primarily due to lower revenues recognized from auto contracts.
Adjusted EBITDA was $8.9 million in the first quarter of 2016 compared to $12.5 million in the first quarter of 2015, a decrease of $3.5 million primarily due to the decline in music revenues, as described above.
Corporate and Other
Real estate revenues for the first quarter of 2016 were $12.6 million compared to $12.2 million for the first quarter of 2015, representing an increase of $0.3 million, or 2.7%.
Corporate and Other Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2016 represented a loss of $19.1 million compared to a loss of $18.5 million in the first quarter of 2015. The increase in loss was primarily a result of an increase in software license fees for new technology applications, partially offset by lower compensation expenses.
RETURN OF CAPITAL TO SHAREHOLDERS
Stock Repurchase Programs
On February 24, 2016, the Board of Directors authorized a new stock repurchase program under which the Company may repurchase up to $400 million of its outstanding Class A common stock. During the first quarter of 2016, the Company repurchased approximately 341,548 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock in open market transactions for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $13 million. As of May 6, 2016, the remaining authorized amount under the current program totaled $368 million. Since the inception of the Company’s prior stock repurchase program authorized in October 2014, the Company has purchased an aggregate of 8.5 million shares of the Company’s Class A common stock in open market transactions at an aggregate purchase price of approximately $433 million.
On May 5, 2016, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share on the Company’s common stock. In addition, holders of the Company’s outstanding warrants will receive a cash payment equal to the amount of the dividend paid per share of common stock for each share of common stock such warrants are exercisable into. The dividend is payable on June 6, 2016, to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 20, 2016. This is the fifth quarterly dividend declared under the Company’s dividend program announced on March 6, 2015. Future dividends will be subject to the discretion of the Company’s Board of Directors.
On May 2, 2016, the Company sold its Deerfield Beach, Fla. property for net proceeds of $24 million. On April 13, 2016, the Company entered into an agreement to sell a property located in Pennsylvania and on May 5, 2016, the Company entered into agreements for the sales of the north block of the Los Angeles Times Square property and the Olympic Printing Plant facility located in Los Angeles. Each of the agreements is subject to certain adjustments and customary closing conditions. There can be no assurance that these sales will be completed in a timely manner or at all. The previous agreement for the sale of the Los Angeles Times Square property, which was entered into on December 28, 2015, was terminated during the first quarter of 2016.
The following represents the Company’s financial guidance for the full year 2016 for the current business portfolio. Given the evaluation of strategic and financial alternatives discussed in our fourth quarter and full year 2015 earnings release, our actual results for the full year may differ materially as the guidance below is based on our assets and operations as they exist today. The following statements, by their nature, are forward-looking and are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, which are discussed below under “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” and may differ materially from our actual results.
For full year 2016, the Company expects:
Consolidated revenues to be between $2.25 billion and $2.28 billion
Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA to be between $615 million and $645 million
Television and Entertainment segment revenues to be between $1.975 billion and $2.000 billion
Television and Entertainment segment Adjusted EBITDA to be between $640 million and $665 million
Digital and Data segment revenues to be between $225 million and $235 million
Digital and Data segment Adjusted EBITDA to be between $47 million and $50 million
Real estate revenues to be approximately $49 million
Real estate expenses to be approximately $26 million
Corporate expenses to be between $93 million and $95 million
Corporate and Other Adjusted EBITDA to be between $(70) million and $(72) million
Capital expenditures to be approximately $127 million ($63 million of which is non-recurring)
Cash taxes to be between $115 million and $125 million
Cash interest to be approximately $160 million
CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATION
The Company will host a conference call today at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss its first quarter results and a presentation deck will be posted to our website in advance of the call. The conference call can be accessed on the Investor Relations homepage of Tribune Media’s website at www.tribunemedia.com, or by dialing (888) 317-6003 (domestic) or (412) 317-6061 (international). The confirmation code is 8034739.
An audio webcast replay will be available in the Events and Presentations section of the Tribune Media website approximately one hour after completion of the call. A replay of the call will also be available until May 17, 2016 at (877) 344-7529 (domestic) or (412) 317-0088 (international). The confirmation code for the replay is 10084442.
 Pro forma Q1 2012 net political advertising revenues include $4.2 million of advertising revenues attributable to Local TV, which was acquired in December 2013.
 Source: Nielsen – Total Viewers, Live+3
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For a copy of this press release, complete with tables, please visit Investor Relations.
Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. Tribune Media is comprised of Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations reaching approximately 50 million households, national entertainment cable network WGN America, whose reach is approaching 80 million households, Tribune Studios, and Gracenote, one of the world’s leading sources of TV and music metadata powering electronic program guides in televisions, automobiles and mobile devices. Tribune Media also includes Chicago’s WGN-AM and the national multicast networks Antenna TV and THIS TV. Additionally, the Company owns and manages a significant number of real estate properties across the U.S. and holds other strategic investments in media. For more information please visit www.tribunemedia.com.
Director/Corporate Finance, Investor Relations
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This press release includes a discussion of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS for the Company and Adjusted EBITDA for our operating segments (Television and Entertainment, Digital and Data, and Corporate and Other) and presents Broadcast Cash Flow for our Television and Entertainment segment. Adjusted EPS, Adjusted EBITDA and Broadcast Cash Flow are financial measures that are not recognized under accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”). Adjusted EPS is calculated based on net income (loss) before income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes, investment transactions, loss on extinguishment of debt, certain adjustments to income on equity investments, net, certain special items (including severance), non-operating items, gain (loss) on sales of real estate, goodwill and other intangible asset and program impairments and other non-cash charges and reorganization items per common share. Adjusted EBITDA for the Company is defined as net income (loss) before income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes, income taxes, investment transactions, loss on extinguishment of debt, interest and dividend income, interest expense, pension expense (credit), equity income and losses, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, certain special items (including severance), non-operating items, gain (loss) on sales of real estate, goodwill and other intangible asset and program impairments and other non-cash charges and reorganization items. Adjusted EBITDA for the Company’s operating segments is calculated as segment operating profit plus depreciation, amortization, pension expense (credit), stock-based compensation, goodwill and other intangible asset and program impairments and other non-cash charges and certain special items (including severance). Broadcast Cash Flow for the Television and Entertainment segment is calculated as Television and Entertainment Adjusted EBITDA plus broadcast rights- amortization expense less broadcast rights- cash payments. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA and Broadcast Cash Flow are measures commonly used by investors to evaluate our performance with that of our competitors. We also present Adjusted EBITDA because we believe investors, analysts and rating agencies consider it useful in measuring our ability to meet our debt service obligations. We further believe that the disclosure of Adjusted EPS, Adjusted EBITDA and Broadcast Cash Flow is useful to investors as these non-GAAP measures are used, among other measures, by our management to evaluate our performance. By disclosing Adjusting EPS, Adjusted EBITDA and Broadcast Cash Flow, we believe that we create for investors a greater understanding of, and an enhanced level of transparency into, the means by which our management operates our company. Adjusted EPS, Adjusted EBITDA and Broadcast Cash Flow are not measures presented in accordance with GAAP, and our use of these terms may vary from that of others in our industry. Adjusted EPS, Adjusted EBITDA and Broadcast Cash Flow should not be considered as an alternative to net income, operating profit, revenues, cash provided by operating activities or any other measures derived in accordance with GAAP as measures of operating performance or liquidity. The tables at the end of this press release include reconciliations of consolidated Adjusted EPS and Adjusted EBITDA and segment Adjusted EBITDA and Broadcast Cash Flow to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. No reconciliation of the forecasted range for Adjusted EBITDA on a consolidated or segment basis for fiscal 2016 is included in this release because we are unable to quantify certain amounts that would be required to be included in the GAAP measure without unreasonable efforts and we believe such reconciliations would imply a degree of precision that would be confusing or misleading to investors.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which may be beyond our control. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our financial outlook and guidance, including our 2016 forecasted revenues, Adjusted EBITDA and other consolidated and segment financial performance guidance, our real estate monetization strategy, exploration of strategic and financial alternatives and other corporate initiatives, the conditions in our industry, our operations, our economic performance and financial condition, including, in particular, statements relating to our business and growth strategy and product development efforts. Important factors that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from these forward-looking statements are uncertainties discussed below and in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 29, 2016. “Forward-looking statements” include all statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts, and can be identified by the use of words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “could” “should,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “intend,” “outlook,” “seek,” “designed,” “assume,” “implied,” “believe” and other similar expressions. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. These forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions by our management that, although we believe to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain and subject to a number of risks and uncertainties.
The following list represents some, but not necessarily all, of the factors that could cause actual results to differ from projected or historical results or those anticipated or predicted by these forward-looking statements: competition and other economic conditions including fragmentation of the media landscape and competition from other media alternatives; changes in advertising demand and audience shares; changes in the overall market for television advertising, including through regulatory and judicial rulings; our ability to protect our intellectual property and other proprietary rights; availability and cost of broadcast rights; our ability to adapt to technological changes; availability and cost of quality network, syndicated and sports programming affecting our television ratings; the loss or modification of our network affiliation agreements; our ability to renegotiate retransmission consent or carriage fee agreements; our ability to monetize our real estate assets; the incurrence of additional tax-related liabilities related to historical income tax returns; our ability to expand our operations internationally; the incurrence of costs to address contamination issues at sites owned, operated or used by our business; adverse results from litigation, governmental investigations or tax-related proceedings or audits; our ability to settle unresolved claims filed in connection with our and certain of our direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries’ Chapter 11 cases and resolve the appeals seeking to overturn the bankruptcy court order confirming the First Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization for Tribune Company and its Subsidiaries; our ability to satisfy pension and other postretirement employee benefit obligations; our ability to attract and retain employees; the effect of labor strikes, lock-outs and labor negotiations; our ability to realize benefits or synergies from acquisitions or divestitures or to operate our businesses effectively following acquisitions or divestitures; the financial performance of our equity method investments; the impairment of our existing goodwill and other intangible assets; compliance with both US and foreign government regulations applicable to our industry; our ability to protect our information systems; compliance with laws related to our international operations, including anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, export controls and other laws; changes in accounting standards; our ability to pay cash dividends on our common stock; increased interest rate risk due to our variable rate indebtedness; our indebtedness and ability to comply with covenants applicable to our debt financing and other contractual commitments; our ability to satisfy future capital and liquidity requirements; a downgrade or withdrawal of ratings assigned to us or our indebtedness; our ability to access the credit and capital markets at the times and in the amounts needed and on acceptable terms and other events beyond our control that may result in unexpected adverse operating results. In addition, in light of these risks and uncertainties, the matters referred to in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release may not in fact occur. Any forward-looking information presented herein is made only as of the date of this press release and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information.